Dasia was raised in several Southern states and calls Reidsville, N.C., and Charleston, S.C., home. In 2018, she graduated Cum Laude from Yale University where she studied ethics, politics, and economics with a concentration in poverty policy. Dasia’s commitment to the South and anti-poverty work led her to MDC, where she is the 2018-2019 Autry Fellow.
Prior to MDC, Dasia worked at the Reidsville Area Foundation, Danville Regional Foundation, and the City of New Haven. She is co-founder and President of Go South Inc., a nonprofit that redirects capital to Southern organizations promoting equity and opportunity. In 2018, Go South launched its inaugural program: a summer fellowship connecting Yale students and alumni to Savannah, Ga., nonprofits.
At Yale, Dasia mentored freshmen as a first-year counselor, coached low-income students like herself as an academic strategies mentor, and coordinated a student group that advocated progressive state policies. She conducted research on North Carolina’s uneven rural/urban development and the gendered effects of Dutch and American welfare policies.
Beyond data and policy, Dasia values history and cultural interpretations of it as crucial elements of understanding contemporary challenges. She engaged deeply in this issue as the sole undergraduate member of Yale’s Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming, formed in response to the controversy surrounding then-John C. Calhoun College (now Grace Hopper College). Dasia wrote her senior thesis on “revivalism,” a form of urban planning that, in Charleston, employed inaccurate public history to justify policies that displaced the city’s black population.
At MDC, Dasia will be working with our Passing Gear Philanthropy team and on work related to economic mobility, among other projects. She says she looks forward to delving into the policies, demographics, and histories of her home region to better understand place-based approaches to combating poverty and enacting systemic change.